Underwater hotel construction to begin next month

Filed on January 10, 2006

DUBAI — The construction of the $500 million under water hotel will start in the first quarter of this year, a spokesperson of the project managers revealed to Khaleej Times yesterday.

The financing of the development is almost finalised, according to Uwe Hohmann of the Crescent Hydropolis Group, which is managing the project. "It will be a combination of self- and external financing. Banks have so far been very reluctant, though." He did not want to comment further on the issue.

The shallow water hotel will be shaped as a bowl and will be positioned on the sea ground, according to Hohmann. The deep water version is floating in the sea with anchors on the ground.

The bowl will be constructed externally and then positioned on the location. It will then be emptied of the water and equipped with huge aquariums as an attraction for the guests. "At the shallow water hotel, guests are exposed to big fish tanks that contain controlled water and fish, since shallow water is muddy and not transparent. At the deep water hotel, visitors are looking directly into the sea," he said.

The construction of such hotels would not have any damaging effects to the environment, he added.

Hotel prices per night, rumoured to reach some $3,000 per night, have not yet been announced by the group. "We cannot give such details at this stage," Hohmann said.

The company is also undertaking projects in Oman, Monaco, Las Vegas, Rio and China.

"The negotiations of our projects in Dubai and Qingdao are in their final phases, so they are most likely to start simultaneously. It is left for us to see which one will finish first," he said. Completion date for the Dubai hotel is scheduled for late 2008. Developer and architectural consultant of the underwater hotel project is Joachim Hauser, a former German Aerospace administrator.

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